N450m Fraud: Former Minister, Four Others To Answer To Charges

A former minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Abdul Bulama, and four others have been ordered to enter their defence in the N450 Million fraud charge preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

This was contained in a statement on Wednesday by the anti-graft agency’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Wilson Uwujaren.

The order was given by Justice Fadima Aminu of the Federal High Court sitting in Damaturu, Yobe State, who, having ruled on a no-case submission by the defendants, held that, “based on the testimonies of witnesses and exhibits tendered before the court”, the prosecution had established a prima facie case against the defendants, warranting them to enter their defence.

The court consequently adjourned till October 19-20, 2023 for the defendants to open their defence.

The Maiduguri Zonal Command of the EFCC is prosecuting Bulama on a seven-count charge of criminal conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of N450 Million (Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira).

Bulama was re-arraigned on Monday, November 8, 2021, alongside Hon. Mohammed Kadai, a former Commissioner for Integrated and Rural Development in Yobe State, Abba Gana Tata, Muhammad Mamu, and Hassan Ibn Jaks.

The ex-minister served as the Coordinator of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 re-election Campaign Committee in Yobe State, while Kadai was his deputy, with the other three defendants as members. They were alleged to have received the said sum in order to influence the outcome of the 2015 Presidential election.

Upon re-arraignment, the defendants pleaded not guilty to all the counts and the matter proceeded to trial.

In the course of trial, counsel for the prosecution, Mukhtar Ali Ahmed presented five witnesses and tendered several documents in evidence before the court before closing its case.

Rather than open their defence the defendants opted for a no-case submission, arguing that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against them.

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